Some Shimano Pedal Dynamics (SPD) pedals come in two variants - without and with a cage - e.g. M520 and M530.

While it isn't the main purpose of the cage on M530 does it make cycling in normal shoes, esp with soft soles more comfortable?

UPDATE: 99% of kilometers I do on this bike is with cycling shoes on and that's why I don't want platform/spd shoes (I have these actually). Once in a while I use it with normal shoes or even flip flops.

  • 3
    If you plan on riding often with normal shoes, you should look into something like the Shimano A530 pedals They have flats on one side and clips on the other. I've had a set for quite a while and they are a pretty good compromise. They are weighted so the clip in side is usually facing up, which makes it easy to clip in.
    – Kibbee
    Jul 26, 2016 at 12:49
  • I prefer the 'more grippier' M324. (shimano-lifestylegear.com/us/pd/products/tour/002pd_m324.php), but they require shoes of some sort... they really bite even when your shoe is coated with oil, so there's no slipping.
    – david1024
    Jul 26, 2016 at 18:55
  • @Kibbee - 99% of the kilometers I'll do on this bike will be done with cycling shoes on, but from time to time I may take the bike for a spin with no shoes on.
    – tmaj
    Jul 26, 2016 at 22:38

2 Answers 2


I usually ride on M424s, which are similar but with more grip on the cage. I'd recommend those or the alloy-cage equivalent if you're thinking along these lines. They're definitely OK with normal shoes.

I didn't want SPD one-side/platform the other: as an SPD novice I was going to be fiddling about enough without getting the pedal the right way up, but I also wanted to be able to jump on the bike in trainers/sandals for short distances -- maybe slower, maybe not very comfortable, but without my feet sliding off. These pedals do all that. They're fine in reasonably thick-soled normal shoes though you can feel the cleat.

I wanted to be able to walk in my riding shoes which restricted my choice of shoes, and meant I had to file off a grippy bit of the pedal (I now also ride platforms in my SPD shoes as part of a bike-train-bike commute).

Also I avoid clipping in when I'm carrying my daughter in a toddler seat (or I unclip well in advance of anything that might make me put my foot down). By being able to pedal unclipped even in SPD shoes (axle under the arch of my foot, so not exactly efficient) I can drop her off then carry on riding.

It was a real bonus having them recently. I did a long ride (for me: 48 miles/4 hours including stops) and being able to unclip and still pedal lightly helped when cramp was threatening.

But for family holidays, when I don't even take the SPD shoes, and have my daughter on the back more often than not, I swap to platform pedals.

  • After your update I still suggest a a cage (but a grippier one) would help you. I don't like riding in flipflops whatever pedals I have but I have tried it and the M424s have just enough grip if you press down evenly.
    – Chris H
    Jul 28, 2016 at 5:54

For occasional use, there is also the option of "platform adapters": a (usually plastic) platform with an SPD cleat that clips onto your SPD pedals. I have Time Z pedals on my AM bike and while they are possible to ride without clipping in, I wouldn't consider it an option for a ride of any length. Another option is getting a cheap set of platform pedals and swapping. I second the opinion that one-sided SPDs is a poor compromise.

  • 1
    I have M520 + shimano platform adaptors and they are fine. Platforms are not big enough but they do the job. I keep then in there just in case.
    – kifli
    Aug 1, 2016 at 15:32

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